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Volta Trucks, the Swedish full-electric commercial vehicle manufacturer, has started production of the first road-going Volta Zero prototype vehicles at a bespoke facility in Coventry, UK.  

Dubbed “Design Verification” (DV) prototypes, these vehicles will be made in a run of 25 units, with Volta Trucks estimating the batch will be completed in January 2022.

From then onwards, the fleet will embark on a rigorous testing regime that will replicate a wide range of customer usage and delivery cycles. Volta Trucks engineers will also take the Zero to the extremes of cold weather environments in the Arctic, hot weathers in equatorial conditions, and crash testing. 

The goal with all this is to validate the safety, durability, and reliability of the vehicle. Once the comprehensive DV testing program is complete, the results will be fed into the final prototype stage, called “Production Verification” (PV). 

Volta Zero final design

Volta Zero PV prototype vehicles will be built at the company’s new manufacturing plant in Steyr, Austria, in mid-2022. The company will lend many of these production-specification prototypes to selected customers for extended periods to be tested in their real-world logistics conditions. They will cover millions of delivery kilometers alongside Volta Trucks’ own engineers.

“In August, the first Volta Zero rolling chassis started testing, and we’ve already extracted huge amounts of data from that vehicle. We have integrated that feedback into the Design Verification prototypes that start production today. We now move into a rapid test – learn – iterate – develop phase. This is going to be far more condensed and intensive than a normal vehicle testing programme, given our ambitious timeline to start series production in a year’s time, that is driven by customers’ needs for zero-emission trucks.”

Ian Collins, Chief Product Officer of Volta Trucks

The Volta Zero is the world’s first purpose-built full-electric 16-tonne vehicle designed for inner-city logistics to reduce the environmental impact of freight deliveries in city centers. It has a claimed pure-electric range of 150–200 kilometers (95–125 miles).

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